FLEX Feature: Milliken & Company with Simon Neft

Our third interview in our “FLEX Feature” series is with Simon Neft, an Advanced Process Improvement Engineer at Milliken & Company, located in Franklin.

Tell us about the Milliken & Company.
Milliken is a privately owned global textile, chemical, flooring, and healthcare company headquartered in Spartanburg, SC. There are a lot of locations spread out globally, although the vast majority are located in South Carolina. It was founded by Seth Milliken in 1865, and is currently in its fourth generation of the Milliken family. The facility I work at, Hawthorn, does batch reactions of over 100 different products. We primarily make catalysts and driers for the paint industry, although our facility, just like Milliken as a whole, has a very diverse product line.

What all do you do in your position?
I use my chemical engineering skills to solve problems, and improve the process anywhere I see fit. I’m currently working on polishing our training program for new associates, and I have a lab project to test out a new catalyst for some of our reactions. One of my goals is to eventually get my Professional Engineering (P.E.) license in chemical engineering.

What is your favorite part about working for Milliken?
I really appreciate Milliken’s ethics and morals. You constantly see in the news how other companies are either breaking the law, lying, or putting themselves first before making the world a better place. Not with Milliken. They’re constantly striving to invest in their people and help the environment. And in the end, it shows with how there are a lot of great people in the company. We currently have a streak of being listed by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies.

What would surprise people about the business?
The one thing that surprises everyone is that you touch up to 50 Milliken products a day without even knowing it. Whether it’s upholstery, automotive lining, fire retardant clothing, or chemicals, our products are everywhere. We make over 48,000 products, and the list goes on and on. If you get the chance to visit Milliken’s headquarters in Spartanburg, SC, the Innovation Gallery describes really well all the different products we have.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Very few of our products are direct-to-consumer, but one of them is our napery (a type of linen). I really like the napery we have, it’s made out of polyester and there are multiple patterns available. I’ve been meaning to buy a set for a while now!

Thank you, Simon, for telling us about Milliken & Company! You can learn more about his employer by visiting

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) March 2022 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

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